Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. The term ‘stress’ refers to the response you have when facing circumstances that force you to act, change, or adjust in some way to maintain your footing, or to keep things balanced.
In small doses, these factors increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus. This is where some people will say stress is good for you! So, does stress affect your health?
Stress is a huge contributor to people needing time off work. Surveys suggest that over 10 million people in the UK are taking time off due to stress and stress related illness. Mental health issues, including stress and anxiety are the reason for one in five visits to a GP.
What’s Going On?
When you are stressed your adrenal glands are forced to produce more cortisol and adrenaline (the main stress hormones). These hormones prepare the body for emergency action.
Heart pounding or beating faster
Breathing quickens or become more shallow
Arms or legs shake
Blood pressure rises
Your senses become sharper
All of these are automatic reactions coming from an area of the brain called the amygdala. That’s like your internal fire alarm. This stress response has existed in humans since we were cavemen. Life was much simpler then and life and death situations really meant life and death! Now, they don’t. However, your brain has not figured that out!
Here’s the thing. When your internal fire alarm is going off, it also switches off your thinking brain. So you can’t think clearly or logically!!!
Is Stress Affecting Your Health?
Stress that continues over long periods of timecancontribute to serious health problems. Stress can affect you in many ways.
Weakened Immune System and catching colds more easily
Low Energy, feeling tired all the time
Memory Problems / Poor Time Management
Aches and pains for seemingly no particular reason – tight shoulders, clenched jaw, stiff back
Spots! Cortisol clogs your pores
Often we only notice the emotional effects of stress, however there are many physical impacts too. So it’s important we do something about our responses or even our lifestyles to counter-balance this.
Causes of Stress
The hormone responses are there for times when you are being chased by a tiger or a bear, not for any of these listed blow! There are many events in life that can cause stress.
Wrong or Difficult Job
Redundancy or Unemployment Worries
Conflict with Colleagues
School or College Pressure
The people that I see regularly, come to me for coaching and other help because they still don’t want to go to their GP and they don’t want to take time off or alert their employer that they are feeling under pressure.
If you think stress is wrecking your body, then make it a point to get things under control. Remove yourself from toxic situations and plan some stress-reducing activities.
Often when I go into the workplace to provide short training sessions there’s quite a misconception about what stress is and whether the staff are affected. Do please make sure you improve your understanding! Investing in stress management and wellbeing is now widely recognised as being beneficial to your entire workforce and your business. In fact, employers have a legal responsibility to protect employees from stress in the workplace. You can see more about the training HERE.
Get in touchto talk about how I can help you and your workforce to get stress under control.
This post discusses: coaching, management, stress, training
Emma hosts the Lessons for Leaders podcast. Each week she brings you lessons, learnings, tips and advice to enable you to lead with ease in business, without stress, doubt and overwhelm so that I help you to increase your performance, be resilient and thrive in life.
Emma has been providing coaching, training and therapeutic support for executives since setting up her business in 2011. Prior to that she spent over 20 years with people at the top of national and multi-national training and communication businesses.
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7 Steps from overwhelmed workload to in control
That feeling of overwhelm can become a negative spiral once it starts.
You start to feel out of control
There’s too much to do
Not enough time to do everything
Worry or panic sets in
You can’t think clearly and everything seems so difficult
Before long, you’re wondering if you can cope at all
This free guide has simple steps to breaking that overwhelm cycle. You can use each step individually or all together. There are 7 simple and straightforward steps to get you out of overwhelm, feeling calm, clear headed and in control.